The Infinite Bridge by Johan Gjøde in Aarhus, Denmark (© Kim-Wyon)

ADVERTORIAL • December 2022

Work, stay and play in West Denmark

Just an hour and 40 minutes from London and Manchester by plane, Billund is the gateway to West Denmark. What’s more, the centre of this dynamic town is only ten minutes from the airport via a free shuttle bus, a taxi or an easy car rental. Billund is also at the heart of the Jutland peninsula, and its excellent transport links mean it’s easy to enjoy the highlights of West Denmark on either side of a business trip

Make Billund your base
Billund is a thriving business hub and you’ll immediately be impressed by its small-scale simplicity. With everything within easy walking distance, the town is set up for the business traveller – including its range of hotels, restaurants and bars. Noma might have set the benchmark for food in these parts, but these days you’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants and pioneering Danish cuisine all around the town and West Denmark. Many of the town’s hottest dining spots are inside sleek hotels, such as Spiseriet at Hotel Refborg, which serves seasonal and sustainably focused food that speaks to the landscape – ideal for a post-meeting dinner. It’s also close to LEGO’s headquarters and the eye-catching LEGO House museum.

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The LEGO House from above

Bed down for business
Alternatively, Hotel Svanen encapsulates Scandi style, with 19 spacious ‘business’ bedrooms that open onto a garden and the destination Restaurant No 8, where a five-course tasting menu features the likes of fried monkfish jaws with stuffed pigeon apple, and spiny lobster with sea buckthorn. The wine cellar is an intimate venue for a business lunch or meeting. Meanwhile, Zleep Hotel is just 300m from the airport terminal and has bright, functional rooms with workspaces, a shared gym and 24-hour self-check-in, as well as a lounge and bar.

Escape to the coast
With business out of the way, it’s time to enjoy West Denmark in all its glory. Start your downtime with a trip to picturesque Ribe. Founded in 710 AD, it has cobbled streets and the country’s oldest cathedral, founded in the early 13th century, which dominates the skyline. Close by, Rømø is home to some of the largest beaches in Europe and is the southernmost of Denmark’s Wadden Sea islands. At low tide, join an oyster safari to slurp on these sublime shellfish. Then at sunset, you might be lucky enough to witness the spectacle of the ‘black sun’ – murmurations of starlings that shapeshift against a flame-coloured sky before they settle into the reeds for the night.


Wadden Sea oysters (© Mads Tolstrup)

Town and country
Drive east from Billund and you’re soon in a pastoral landscape where the roads are rarely busy. Half an hour away is the small city of Vejle, packed with art such as cultural and quirky street installations. The pedestrianised shopping street Nørregade is nearly 1km long, and its northern section is part of the Latin Quarter that is shaded by multicoloured umbrellas in spring and summer. Restaurant Lyst in Vejle’s striking, waterfront Fjordenhus – designed by Olafur Eliasson – is the place to treat yourself. It holds a Michelin Star as well as a Michelin Green Star for its local, raw-material philosophy that guides chefs to source from within a 100-mile radius.

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Restaurant Lyst in Fjordenhus, Vejle (© Jakob Vingtoft)

Viking history
A short distance away are the tenth-century carved Viking rune stones and burial mounds, now a Unesco World Heritage Site. The stones were engraved with Denmark’s name under the orders of King Harald Bluetooth. The Viking Kings visitor centre explains the country’s fascinating history. This is also a great place to stop and hire a bike to explore the storied countryside via cycle paths along Hærvejen, the ‘Ancient Route’, which covers around 250km from Viborg to the Danish-German border.

Find out more about West Denmark at

Words by Sophie Lam

This article has been tagged Advertorial, Destination